Canary Spring at Mammoth Hot Springs Has Gone Dormant Indefinitely

Canary Spring terrace at Mammoth Hot Spring

While some of the thermal wonders of Yellowstone National Park, like the aptly named Old Faithful, are highly predictable, other thermal geysers are, like my Uncle Walter, considerably less so. 

And like Unky Walt, who got busted stripping copper pipes out of his apartment, we don't know when we'll ever see them again. 


Canary Spring at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park

Canary Spring is located in Mammoth Hot Springs, and is named for its striking yellow color, which it gains from filamentous bacteria that requires sulfur to live.  Four to five days ago, the Canary Spring appeared to dry up.

It's not the first time, either.  Canary Spring also apparently went dormant from October of 1884 through part of 1985, and then once again from 1914 - 1924.  The mercurial geyser was also quiet from 1939 to 1948.

View of Canary Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs is also marked by mutability and relatively recent change.  Some of the formations visible today, like the butterfly terrace, were formed as recently as the 1920s.  Due to the high degree of variables involved, and the complexity of the Mammoth Hot Springs system, it is impossible to predict when Canary Spring will resume springing.  It could be tomorrow, or it could be 100,000 years. 

So if you were traveling to Yellowstone National Park specifically to see Canary Spring and damn the rest, you might want to rethink your trip.  

And if you head to Integrity Heights apartments in Baltimore to see my Uncle Walter, you may as well skip it.  He, too, is indefinitely incommunicado.

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